Saturday, 24 September 2022

Croatian Company OV - Carriage Maintenance Exceeds in 2022

September the 24th, 2022 - The Croatian company OV - Carriage maintenance (Odrzavanje vagona) is a regional leader in the field of the repair and upkeep of freight cars, diesel engine trains and locomotives. It secured longterm jobs this year which totalled an impressive 25 million kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian company OV - Carriage maintenance recently completed the complex process of restructuring and consolidation, in which it stabilised its operations and is now in the process of contracting new, quite large jobs. In the first seven months of 2022, it made a profit of 600,000 kuna, which is a continuation of the planned direction from 2021 when, despite the global coronavirus pandemic, the company increased its revenues and even the salaries of its employees and made a significant profit.

Today, the company operates with 100% contracted capacity and is an example of successful restructuring, which is led by the HZ Cargo Management Board and the aforementioned company's management board.

The Croatian company OV - Carriage maintenance is otherwise 100% owned by HZ Cargo and was initially established as a service department for HZ, but during restructuring processes which took place in 2019, 2020 and 2021, in addition to already providing constant services to HZ Cargo, HZ Passenger Transport and HZ Infrastructure, it turned to external customers, both foreign and domestic.

As such, new jobs were contracted with multiple companies, including Koncar. In the period which followed, and after a complex and successful restructuring process, the equipment was modernised and the overall quality of service improved, and they are currently in the process of obtaining the VPI certificate at the Slavonski Brod facility, which guarantees that the maintenance and revisions of wagons and carriages are carried out according to rather stringent European Union standards.

Today, the Croatian company OV - Carriage maintenance has a total of three plants - in Slavonski Brod, Cakovec and Bjelovar, and five workshops - in Moravice, Rijeka, Koprivnica, Zagreb and Solin. It currently employs 450 workers, whose salaries were raised back in 2021 and additional benefits for work in the field were provided. In 2022, large long-term deals worth more than 25 million kuna were contracted with several external customers.

Commenting on the company's positive financial indicators, director Boris Gobac pointed out that, in addition to business progress, in cooperation with social partners, they are also focused on social policy and increasing employee income.

''The situation within this company is proof that successful restructuring and consolidation of business is very much possible. Despite all the global challenges we've faced and continue to face, such as rising energy costs, inflation and the coronavirus pandemic, the company is continuing to operate successfully, and in the future we expect an increase in the capacity for freight wagon repairs for foreign operators,'' concluded Boris Gobac.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Croatian Koncar Tram Immediately Sold to Latvia's Liepajas Tramvajs

September the 22nd, 2022 - A new Croatian Koncar tram made its way from the well-known Berlin-based InnoTrans Fair directly to Latvia after being sold to the Latvian company Liepajas Tramvajs.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Republic of Croatia is one of only five countries in Europe to have independently developed a low-floor tram system, and it was precisely this model of public transport, the TMK 2300 LT, that was presented as the flagship of the Koncar Group recently at this year's edition of the world's largest transport technology and industry fair - InnoTrans in the German capital of Berlin.

The tram won't return from Germany to the City of Zagreb, but will instead be delivered to a customer in Latvia, Liepajas Tramvajs. To be more precise, 13 out of a total of 14 low-floor Croatian Koncar trams will be delivered by Koncar to the City of Liepaja according to the signed contracts.

As explained by Gordan Kolak, the president of the Koncar Management Board, being part of the world's largest transport industry and technology fair is an additional confirmation of their efforts to create globally recognised high quality products and thus strengthen Croatian industry in this segment.

"We're proud to be able to present our low-floor electric tram, intended for an important European customer, on the InnoTrans stage. We've already confirmed in our long-term high-quality and successful cooperation with Zagreb's ZET that we have the necessary vision, expertise and tools to implement the green and sustainable mobility initiative. Therefore, we expect the further development of the electrification of public transport and opportunities for new cooperation on the European market. We believe that these opportunities and our quality products will be recognised by new potential customers and partners at this year's InnoTrans,'' said Kolak, whose company is struggling on the European market with the competition of tram manufacturers consisting of giants such as Siemens, Alstom, Bombardier and Skoda.

In addition to Croatian Koncar trams, this well-known company has had a lot to say in the segment of city and suburban trains, as well as the modernisation of old diesel-electric locomotives. Koncar's trains are already running along the Croatian Railways system, and they also have plans for technological advances in the future.

''I'm talking about the battery train project, for which HZ Putnicki promet recently announced a tender. As Josip Ninic of Konar explained in Berlin, the battery train project started last year, and the work will continue regardless of the results of HZ's tender.

"Of course, we're being competitive in the tender for the battery train prototype, but even if we don't get the job, we'll finish the project because we have the knowledge and technology for it. I expect that we'll be able to present this new product of ours to the public at InnoTrans in 2024," Ninic said.

He explained that it is a train that will be used for non-electrified railways, and the battery is charged while the train is travelling along the electrified part of the railway or at certain points along the way with fixed chargers. It is also expected that the battery could have a capacity for about 100 kilometres, which would be enough for suburban traffic in cities that don't have electric-energy infrastructure on their railway lines.

In the same way, at least in theory, Zagreb and Split could also be connected in this way, where the railway along that route is mostly not electrified, so that the timetable would provide for shorter stops, 10-15 minutes, at transit stations where the battery would be recharged.

This year's InnoTrans has otherwise been held on 200,000 square metres, it hosted 145,000 visitors and 2,830 exhibitors from more than 60 countries. One of the most interesting premiere products was certainly the first commercial hydrogen train produced by Stadler.

Hydrogen and e-mobility are also the focus of almost all other exhibitors in Berlin. In addition to Croatian Koncar trams, several other Croatian players came to Berlin to present their technology, such as Ericsson Nikola Tesla, Djuro Djakovic, Altpro, and Gredelj, which now operates as part of the Slovakian Tatravagonka Poprad Group.

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Badel 1862 Taking Over Well Known Dalmacijavino Umbrella Brand

September the 14th, 2022 - The very well known Dalmacijavino is one of the most recognisable brands from the area of ​​Dalmatia of all, and it has a very long and rich tradition that Badel 1862 wants to work to fully preserve.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Vinoplod director Kresimir Lokas stated that ''Dalmacijavino's range of wines, not to mention the rest of the strong alcoholic beverages we previously took over, will be produced in Vinoplod's facilities in Sibenik, and the yeasts will be produced in Badel's facilities in Sisak. 

With this agreement, Badel 1862 and Vinoplod are set to further strengthen their positions on the demanding wine market, especially when it comes to local Dalmatian varieties such as Debit and Drniski Merlot. By bottling Dalmacijavino's wine brands, we'll further increase the level of production in the Sibenik plants, and by using synergies and further investments in the development of an even greater number of wine brands, we'll get additional opportunities for quality portfolio expansion and sales growth,''

''Just as we've already proven to be a successful method with Badel 1862 and Vinoplod, we intend to continue to develop and modernise the Dalmacijavino brand in order to bring it closer to new generations of consumers," emphasised Lokas.

"Given the long-term cooperation with the company Badel 1862, which bought raw materials from us and then took over the brands of strong alcoholic beverages two years ago, the sale of the Dalmacijavino umbrella brand to Badel was a natural sequence of business events.

The Ostrc company will continue to do business with Badel, and now it will be carried out through the largest consolidated Dalmatian vineyard in Petrovo Polje, from which most of the raw material will be sold to Badel and Vinoplod, which means that Dalmacijavino's products will continue being made from the same grapes from which it has all been being done for the last seventy years.

The contract on the matter was signed to mutual satisfaction and I believe that Dalmacijavino's brands will continue to be very well positioned on the market in the future. In addition to a greater focus on the potential of our vineyard, in terms of even greater and higher quality yields, as well as the gastronomic and tourist story that we have been developing over more recent years, in the coming period, we intend to place our focus even more intensively on the business and development of one of the strongest regional beverage brands, Pipi, not to mention on its further expansion,'' concluded Luka Diel-Zadro of Pipi beverages.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

 

Wednesday, 14 September 2022

Rimac Campus Progressing Excellently, Interactive 3D Model Created

September the 14th, 2022 - Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac is by far Croatia's most successful entrepreneurial story of the modern day. Referred to as Europe's Elon Musk, Rimac has done what nobody else has - created some of the world's most incredible hypercars in a country that doesn't even have an automotive industry to speak of. His impressive plan, the Rimac Campus, is also progressing very well.

The upcoming Rimac Campus, which will not only shine the spotlight on Croatia even more strongly in regard to entrepreneurship, investment and of course - the automotive industry, will also provide enviable employment opportunities to many who would likely have headed off abroad in search of the jobs they were educated for.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the absolutely stunning Rimac Nevera hypercar, as well as key components for future Rimac and Bugatti models, will be produced at the Rimac Campus in Kerestinac, which is currently under construction. The much anticipated Rumac Campus spans a constructed area of 100,000 square metres, and a total area of 200,000 square metres. It is worth an enormous 200 million euros in total.

Mate Rimac is no stranger to social media and frequently publishes posts, videos and photos about what he is currently working on, engaging well with an always interested audience. He recently took to his personal Facebook profile on which he published an impressive interactive 3D model of the current state of the construction site of the future Rimac Campus, which clearly shows that the works are progressing quite well indeed.

The completion of the first phase of construction of the Rimac Campus is planned for 2023, and in the long term it should become a workplace for around 2,500 employees.

The Livno-born entrepreneur has taken the world of cars by storm from a country that hasn't provided the best footing for going it alone, and his dogged determination is something Nikola Tesla, his fellow countryman, would be very proud of.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business and Made in Croatia sections.

Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Croatian Company Notitia Prepares Country's Industrial Strategy

September the 13th, 2022 - Almost all large consulting firms which are currently active in the Republic of Croatia, from KPMG, PwC to Ernst&Young, wanted to prepare a new industrial strategy for the country, but that work was entrusted to the small Croatian company Notitia, which is otherwise not very well known to the public.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian company Notitia is a decade-old company from the City of Zagreb, whose founder is a professor at the Zagreb Faculty of Economics, Vlatka Bilas.

Just several ago, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development concluded an agreement with the aforementioned Zagreb company on the creation of the National Plan for Industrial Development and Entrepreneurship for the period 2021-2027, an umbrella document for the creation of a future policy of support and moderation for economic development.

Notitia's references

The tender was announced during the mandate of the former Minister of Economy Tomislav Coric, and the bids were submitted back in April, just before Davor Filipovic took over that role and that department. The evaluation and selection between the offers of nine candidates took some time, and the offer with the lowest price was finally selected.

The estimated value that the competent ministry highlighted and was ready to pay for that project stood at 1.2 million kuna without VAT, and the Croatian company Notitia offered its services for a price of 325,000 kuna, just half of what the other bidders were willing to charge.

The lowest price offered wasn't the only criterion sought, points were also awarded for experience and the ability to be equipped for this type of work. These were equally important factors in the evaluation process. Among the five members of the Notitia team is Sanja Franc, an associate professor at the Faculty of Economics.

The Croatian company Notitia has otherwise already collaborated with the Ministry of Economy and some other ministries and state institutions, and one of its most recent engagements was consulting on the establishment of the Innovation Network for Industry and Thematic Innovation Platforms, as well as consulting on the establishment and development of the innovation system across the Republic of Croatia.

This team also has vast experience in strategic planning projects for no less than the World Bank, and among the references cited by Notitia are the smart specialisation strategy from back in 2016, and the creation of an operational plan for the implementation of the previous industrial strategy, the one for the period from 2014 to 2020.

The new development policy of Croatian industry will, therefore, be carved by the hands of the professors of the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb, and as foreseen in the public tender, they will have a total of seven months at their disposal to prepare the document that has been being waited on for two years already. The first argument for stalling the preparation of Croatia's seven-year industrial development plan was the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, which put a halt to normal life and business as we knew it. It then coincided that an umbrella document for the development of the industry was also being adopted at the EU level, as well as at the national level, and work was then being done on the preparation and adoption of the National Development Strategy of Croatia until 2023.

At the end of last year, former Economy Minister Tomislav Coric concluded that with the adoption of these documents, a basis had finally been created in which the consideration of industrial policy could be properly integrated. Now new moments and changes have arisen again with inflation and the spiralling energy crisis, which will change a lot in the European economy. Looking at it this way, Croatia's brand new industrial strategy will be even more relevant.

Key changes

At the moment when the Ministry of Economy finally started looking for consultants for this document at the beginning of this year, three changes that will transform Croatian industry by the end of this decade were perceived as key - the green and digital transition, and improving the position of the Croatian economy in global value chains.

In other words, in the deliberation of the plan, emphasis was to be placed on production sectors that create higher and higher added value, those which are based on knowledge, with the inevitable postulate of a circular and decarbonised economy.

The Economy Ministry has made it clear that designing the recovery and development of the domestic economy couldn't simply be based solely on standard theses about competitive advantages and preserving jobs and simply detecting negative facts about the Croatian industry that need to be fixed. The challenge was to define "game changers" and create conditions for their encouragement. In addition to defining the industrial activities that have the greatest perspective, the ministry also expects from the consultants a proposal for an appropriate set of measures that will further stimulate their growth, and among others, small and medium-sized enterprises are key to the competitiveness and prosperity of the Croatian economy as a whole.

The modernisation and decarbonisation of energy-intensive industries has also been "inserted" as one of the priority goals, in which the ministry recognises the opportunity to improve and introduce advanced technologies and stimulate structural changes and investments. The preparation of the National Plan should also result in a detailed elaboration of measures, activities and expected results and projects.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business and politics sections.

Sunday, 11 September 2022

American Robin Purchases Croatian Company Flow and Form

September the 11th, 2022 - The American company Robin has purchased the Croatian company Flow and Form, which has its office in the City of Zagreb.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, after raising 30 million US dollars in investment capital, the American company Robin, which develops platforms for hybrid modes of operation, has acquired the Croatian company Flow and Form, which deals with software.

As announced by the American startup, the common goal of the acquisition of the Croatian company Flow and Form is to define what the future of work looks like and to build the world's best platform for hybrid work – Robin.

Flow and Form, which has an office in Zagreb, started operating back in 2017, and over the years since, it has proven to be one of the leading agencies with recent results in providing high-quality digital solutions for optimising living and working spaces. As the chief executive officer (CEO) of Flow and Forme, Marko Pavlovic, stated, the company's most important mission from the very beginning was to make every space a better place to live and work.

"In a partner, we were looking for someone for whom people are more important than the offices themselves, someone who wants to make the work experience easier for their users and employees. And we found that in Robin. Teamwork is needed to create a world where workplaces function better," said Pavlovic, adding that by joining forces with Robin, a team that shares their goals and values, they will ensure their faster adaptation to changes, keep up with the growing demand for hybrid ways of working and develop solutions that help leaders in their industries, making their offices places where their employees want to be and want to work.

The fact that the Croatian company Flow and Form is one of the leading companies in the real estate technology industry has been well and truly proven by the creation of more than a billion dollars in market value through the marketing of successful products for their clients. The company was included in the list of 50 fastest growing technology companies in Central and Eastern Europe according to Deloitte's 2021 list, and since back in 2014, Robin has enabled companies of all sizes to do their best work by building technology solutions that drive a better employee experience in the workplace.

Their platform allows employees to choose how and from where they work using real-time office maps and room, desk and equipment reservations, all while helping employers track office space utilisation, desk reservation statistics and more.

Support from Croatia

In July 2022, Robin raised a new round of investment (Series C) of a massive 30 million US dollars, which enabled them to expand internationally, increase the number of employees and deepen their strategic partnerships. Thanks to the cooperation with the Croatian company Flow and Form, Robin has successfully entered not only the Croatian market but that of the whole of Europe.

The Croatian company has stated that this is great news for the Croatian economy because it will now participate in the rapid growth of a top SaaS (Software as a Service) company, in a completely new industry on this market - workspace technology. Micah Remley, CEO of Robin, emphasised that their clients, especially here in Europe, will now have the support of their teams in the Republic of Croatia, which enables Robin to offer an even better experience using its product and build innovative solutions for its users.

"From the beginning, we were impressed by the amount of top quality talent and the technical abilities of the team in Croatia. Through this acquisition, we can see an opportunity not only for product development with experienced teams based in Zagreb, but also for supporting our European and global expansion from our Zagreb office," stated Remley.

Robin is otherwise headquartered across the pond in the American city of Boston and currently has over 200 employees, with clients from 80 countries on all six continents, including Toyota, Mailchimp, Fender and Peloton.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Koprivnica's Nexe Group Completes 4.3 Million Kuna Investment

September the 10th, 2022 - The Koprivnica-based Nexe Group (Grupa) has completed its impressive 4.3 million kuna investment.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Jadranka Dozan writes, on Wednesday, Koprivnica's Nexe Group marked the completion of the investment of one of its components, the Koprivnica company IGMA, in a new concrete plant.

This component is involved in the exploitation and processing of gravel and sand and the production of concrete and concrete elements, and the investment in the concrete plant in Drnje worth a massive 4.3 million kuna also equals the modernisation of concrete production and adaptation to new technologies.

As the company pointed out, the construction project included a concrete production area with a mixer, an in-line aggregate tank with a total capacity of 120 m3, and three cement silos with a capacity of 80 m3 each. The accompanying buildings next to the concrete plant, the additive storage and control container, and the waste concrete separator have also been completed.

On the occasion of the presentation of the work of the new concrete plant, it has been stated that the goal of this investment is the additional rationalisation of resource management, the additional improvement of product quality and the level of environmental protection, as well as the meeting of increasing market demands. IGMA also explained that it is a logical sequence of the company's growth and development, which resulted in a 10 percent increase in revenue and a 27 percent increase in net profit back in 2021.

Karlo Sisl, the director of IGMA, said that he believes that with this project, the company will continue its market success and secure a future for both its workers and production. This Koprivnica company has been operating as part of the wider Nexe Group since back in 2006, and since then, investments worth more than 86 million kuna have been made in the modernisation of technology, new products and quality.

"At IGMA, we apply the following business policies: investing in production, business processes, employees, as well as building relationships with the local community. Current projects confirm that the Nexe Group intends to further develop its operations across Koprivnica, among which, the EU-funded project to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources stands out. Support for this project was approved from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme of the European Fund for Regional Development and the EU Mechanism for Recovery and Resilience tender, in the amount of 14.5 million kuna.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Croatia Among Three EU Countries With Fastest Company Loan Growth

September the 7th, 2022 - Croatia is among three EU member states (the other two being the Republic of Ireland and Romania) with the fastest growth of loans being granted to companies.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Ana Blaskovic writes, this year, specifically from February onwards, a strong growth in lending has been noticeable, and after a long period of stagnation (or in some cases decline), Croatia has once again entered a period in which loans being granted to companies outnumber those being given to households, the Croatian Association of Banks pointed out in its HUB Pregledi publication.

They noted that the annual loan growth back during the month of May this year actually exceeded the double-digit threshold for the first time and has since continued its upward trajectory.

"According to the latest data for the month of July, when the amount of net loans exceeded 100 billion kuna for the first time in eight entire years, growth stood at 16.1 percent. Along with Ireland and Romania, Croatia is among the three EU member states with the fastest growth in loans provided to companies in July," they stated from the Association of Banks.

Some assessments consider it unfounded that behind the generous lending of companies there is only the motivation to finance old loans while there is still a period of historically low money prices ahead of the announced tightening of monetary policy.

"It's well known that the European Central Bank started increasing interest rates back in July 2022, which will continue with the aim of suppressing inflation, but bearing in mind the expected increase in interest rates in the next year, it's only logical that some companies are trying to contract more favourable financing conditions in the long term. However, it is a question of net credit growth, i.e. an increase in credit activity on top of usual refinancing,'' they pointed out, adding that more active loan support is correlated with economic growth, which stood at an encouraging seven percent in the first quarter and accelerated to 7.7 percent in the second.

During this year, companies operating in Croatia primarily wanted to get their hands on business loans. In July, their growth reached as much as 21.5 percent on an annual basis. Loans for investments also grew at a double-digit rate, 12 percent, while other loans to companies increased by 6.1 percent.

From the Croatian National Bank (CNB), as was written back at the beginning of this summer, they see part of the reason for the unprecedented corporate demand in the increased needs of companies operating in the energy sector due to the huge explosion of costs. In July, loan demand was led by large companies in Croatia with 20.4 percent growth. They were followed by micro companies with 15.3 percent, medium-sized companies with 8.8 percent and small enterprises with 7.4 percent. Regarding loans for investments, the order is similar; the fastest growth was recorded in the large ones by 27.1 percent, and in the smallest ones by 15.2 percent.

"As such, Croatia has once again entered a period in which loans to companies grow faster than loans to households do. Such a relationship for a period of more than four months was last recorded back in 2016," HUB notec.

In addition to the economy, household lending also grew, albeit more slowly, by 5.2 percent during the month of July. The Association of Banks added that lending to the economy exceeds inflation, but the same is not true for people and household loans. The rate of increase in household loans in Croatia still remains below inflation, as does the growth of nominal wages (7.5 percent in July), resulting in the continuation of the decline in (real) indebtedness of that segment. At the same time, housing loans are growing at a rate of 9.4 percent, and cash loans are growing at a rate of 2.8 percent.

"This means that the contribution of loans to the financing of current consumption is minimal. Moreover, credit card loans are on the decline, and overdrafts on current accounts and other loans to households, although they recorded growth during this year, are at lower levels than the average for the period from 2018 to 2020," HUB stated. They also added that the different rate of growth of deposits and loans should be weighed up since deposits have been strongly accelerating since 2020 with expectations of a continuation of the trend after the tourist season and ahead of the conversion to the euro on the first day of 2023.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics and business sections.

Tuesday, 6 September 2022

Nano Energies Croatia Has Innovative Method for Lowering Energy Costs

September the 6th, 2022 - Nano Energies Croatia (Hrvatska) has some innovative methods for lowering spiralling electricity costs, which are posing more and more of a threat to everyone in society as the situation continues to be dire.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the energy sector is going through an extremely turbulent period that is deeply affecting both companies and regular households. Rising energy prices, the war in Ukraine, the need for decarbonisation and the need to digitise everything have made the need to find more innovative and sustainable solutions much, much more urgent. System optimisation, flexible consumption, the general reduction of the human carbon footprint and the reduction of business costs for companies and households are all pressing issues.

An innovative solution has been put forward by Nano Energies Croatia, a daughter company of the group of the same name from the Czech Republic, which is otherwise the first Croatian company to which HERA issued a license to carry out energy aggregation activities. It is a business model of a kind of "energy consulting", i.e. energy management that can save companies 10-20 percent of their electricity costs, and is financed according to the well-known ESCO model.

Ultimately, Nano Energies Croatia plans to offer Croatian users an electricity storage service in the foreseeable future. The service they're bringing to the Croatian market focuses on smart management and the overall flexibility of energy use. In practice, this means that it offers companies and electricity producers the possibility of managing their own consumption and production of electricity in order to reduce their business costs and profit from the movement of electricity prices on short-term markets. At the same time, the flexible management of production and/or consumption benefits the entire power grid and helps prevent interruptions in the supply of individual parts of the grid.

As explained by Dominik Maricevic, the manager of Nano Energies Croatia, given the accelerated decentralisation of the Croatian power system, the activity of aggregation has become an extremely important part of it.

"The unstable production of renewable energy sources has brought a challenge to the management of power systems. Frequency fluctuations within the power grid must be minimised to keep the grid stable. An independent aggregator with its distributed assets can play a key role in smoothing out such fluctuations. Therefore, our task is to create a network of small producers, consumers, as well as electricity storage tanks, so that they can react at any time and "offer" stability to the power system, but at the same time ensure access to profitable balancing energy markets. In this way, we'll manage to both speed up and reduce the costs of the energy transition for Croatian users, and at the same time create the proper preconditions for the connection of new renewable energy sources to the electric power system," explained Maricevic.

Stanislav Chvala, CEO of the Czech technology company Nano Energies, also emphasised that their license to operate on the Croatian market opens up numerous completely new opportunities for them.

"With flexible management, we can increase our customers' income by up to several tens of percent. Experiences from Western markets shows us that flexibility aggregators replace fossil fuel and nuclear power plants and enable the transition to sustainable energy. We can use the potential of the electricity that would otherwise remain unused. We can adjust consumption and production so that the customer produces electricity when it is the most expensive, and consumes it when it's the cheapest. The customer themselves doesn't notice this during operation, because everything takes place automatically, and at the same time contributes to the stabilisation of the network without the need to include coal-fired power plants in balancing the system," said Chvala.

Reconstruction of the network

He added that Europe has already started to rethink and rebuild its overall energy network and it is clear that in the coming years there will be a huge increase in the use of RES.

"Historically, the time when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine was compensated for by gas and coal power plants, but this is an increasingly unsustainable situation for geopolitical reasons, as well as the need to preserve the environment. We have to look elsewhere for flexibility," he concluded.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Croatian Startup Make IT Easy Succeeds with Investment Plans

August the 28th, 2022 - The Croatian startup Make IT easy has succeeded with its investment plans, raising more than 150,000 euros a little more than a month after launching their campaign on Funderbeam.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, MobilityONE, the software made by the Croatian startup Make IT Easy, intended for fleet management and cost control, raised more than 150,000 euros a little more than a month after the launch of its campaign on Funderbeam.

According to Marko Stojakovic, executive director of the Croatian startup Make IT Easy, they collected exactly 157,000 euros from around 100 investors, which was the minimum amount they had set for themselves. The campaign is still set to go on for another fifteen days, but Stojakovic has noted that it will close when they collect 300,000 euros, which is the upper goal they set for themselves.

Stojakovic explained that the average investment in their software stands at around 1,500 euros, and among the more famous investors are Juraj Sebalj, a well-known rally driver and brand ambassador of the platform, who invested 15,000 euros, and Nenad Bakic, known for his role within Varteks. "The majority, or 80 percent of them, of investors are from Croatia, the rest are foreign investors," Stojakovic pointed out.

This Funderbeam campaign for MobilityONE is an introduction to the second round of financing (the first was at the end of last year when they collected 260 thousand euros through Funderbeam), in which they plan to collect 1.5 million euros, followed by the conquest of the European and American markets. The plan is to collect the same in three ways, through the ongoing Funderbeam campaign, then through venture capital funds and European funds. They used the period between the two financial campaigns for software development. At the moment, as Stojakovic revealed, they are about to sign the payment contracts with several respectable Croatian and foreign companies, the names of which cannot reveal the names until they are signed.

As for the investors, that is, the venture capital funds (VC funds), they are in negotiations with five of them, and they have already received a non-binding letter of intent from one of them.

"We're talking with the others and soon, in six months, we should close this investment round with the funds," says Stojakovic. There is obviously no lack of interest, which is not surprising when you take into account the fact that the market for managing mobile assets and fleet resources should grow to 30 billion euros by 2030.

MobilityONE, on the other hand, will become the first Croatian export product in that domain, and, as they claim, it stands out from the competition due to its simplicity in both implementation and use. In addition, the software, which is intended for professional fleet services companies, leasing and rent-a-car companies, car dealers, i.e. anyone with a fleet of vehicles, saves 20 percent of costs, 50 percent of management time and 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

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